The long-term benefits of the Apple/Intel partnership will outweigh the negatives, according to analysts at Piper Jaffray.

The analyst firm admits Apple will encounter risks associated with the move to Intel chips, most visible of which will "some pushback in the developer community, as the move would require programmers to rewrite some applications," but it thinks that this risk is outweighed by "more consistency of supply, a pricing advantage and a larger developer community".

Piper Jaffray also predicts that the partnership will "potentially provide for greater breadth of applications for the Mac."

iPod foundation

The company still doesn't expect the Intel Mac to overshadow the iPod though. It believes the digital music device "will be the foundation of growth in other Apple businesses, with iPod carryover impacting numbers over the next two years".

For Intel, the implications are less significant, according to Merrill Lynch.

Analysts there say the implications "are positive", but "only marginally so".

"At two per cent of the market, Apple's business is not enough to materially impact our supply/demand analysis," Merrill Lynch told Forbes.